Future of the Riviera Maya

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We are planning to undertake a feature length film in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, to show the incredible beauty of the Riviera Maya's freshwater and marine ecosystems, and to explore the threats that the Riviera Maya faces from rapid development as a global tourist destination.

The Riviera Maya is situated on the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula, where a spectacular and complex system of freshwater aquifers, caletas and estuaries connect to the world's second largest coral reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. These cave systems have been recognised as some of the the most extensive subterranean freshwater ecosystems in the world. It was once the vitality and spiritual foundation of the great Mayan civilisations, and today it represents the largest natural supply of freshwater for the people of the Yucatan.

In recent years, the breathtaking natural beauty of the Riviera Maya has become a global development hotspot for a burgeoning tourist industry. This scenic destination is now losing its ecological value, as all-inclusive resorts are rapidly expanding across the area with little to no long-term strategic or sustainable planning. These resorts are often indiscriminately built above the fragile and interconnected aquifers, some resorts accommodating more than 5000 guests, with attached golf courses that cover what once was lush jungle, cenotes and water filled-caves.

In its current form, much of the development that is taking place is liable to release, large quantities of poorly treated waste water, and other chemicals such as pesticides into the freshwater ecosystems that contaminate both freshwater and food for the surrounding communities.

The Future of the Riviera Maya will not only investigate the threats of unsustainable development along the Caribbean coast, but will explore community-oriented sustainable development strategies, such as local waterwater treatment projects that can be integrated into larger planning schemes to reduce pollution on a broader scale.

The Future of the Riviera Maya will also provide an unbiased account of what is planned for the future through interviews with local Mexican residents, environmental lawyers, cave researchers, ecologists, biologists, archeologists, global conservationists, oceanographers, reef management coordinators, cave diving specialists, as well as tourism managers and water protection authorities, plus a variety of others. Many of these specialists are also highly influential, world renown speakers that understand the issues from a social, economic and environmental perspectives. Together, their voices are an important aspect of this production that will help piece the history and future of the Riviera Maya together.

The Future of the Riviera Maya budget focusses on equipment. We are team dedicated to creating a state-of-the art production that can be entered and screened at a variety of film festivals to push the importance of sustainable coastal developments on an international level. Although we have each invested our own money on equipment for this project, our current list of materials are minimal and insufficient! If we were to film now, the quality of our product will be very low in comparison to what we know we can achieve with your help. A small proportion of funds will also be delegated to travel expenses, allowing us to accept our invitation to film and conduct interviews at a water tribunal conference in Mexico City, mid-September, 2013.

Get your friend to shout you a few coffees this week and then spend the money you would have spent on the Future of the Riviera Maya, instead! That way, you can feel you have achieved something by helping us with this project and your friend can feel good for shouting you because you helped us! In that way, it all balances out! It is possible for your donation to remain anonymous if you desire. We have considered our rewards for your donations carefully so they are ethically sound and do not defy the soul interest of fundraising. However, we feel the biggest thanks we can give is through our continued dedication to this production and keeping you updated and in the loop as often as pozible!

As explained in our pledge, the current feature film documentary we are working on will build on a previous short documentary that was filmed in 2011; The Future of the Riviera Maya. Since this time, we have continued to plan for a larger scale production that can be screened in more locations. Our experience as researchers for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)'s Foreign Correspondent to produce The Veins of the Earth has been another successful step toward creating the international awareness the Riviera Maya deserves. From here, our research will be put directly into filming and interviewing for a higher quality product of The Future of the Riviera Maya. www.eco-biosystems.net, under the Documentary tab. We will upload snippets of our production as we progress through our filming and for those who donate, we will be more than happy to keep in touch and let you know how your money has helped our work!

All photos courtesy of Fisheye Photography

on 21st Aug 2013 at 2:00am. The payment portal is closed now.
A$1 +Our sincere thanks to you! You have contributed to the production of the Future of the Riviera Maya. We highly value your input and in return, you will receive regular updates from us on our journey to protect Mexico's precious terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems!
1 Chosen | 999 AvailableEst. delivery is August 2013
A$15 +Your $15+ has helped us on our way to film from deep within the cave systems of the Riviera Maya! As we appreciate your kindness, we will keep you updated throughout our journey and want you to have a digital copy of our documentary.
13 Chosen | 987 AvailableEst. delivery is February 2014
A$50 +Thank you for helping us on our way! For your participation, you will receive a digital copy of our production, plus your name acknowledged in the credits! We encourage you to submit a picture of yourself snorkelling, diving or swimming at your favourite location for us to place next to your name in the credits!
12 Chosen | 988 AvailableEst. delivery is February 2014
A$100 +Because of your generous donation, we will be able to undertake interviews with some of the world's most influential people in the fields of conservation, environmental law, archeology, biology and cave studies! In appreciation of your support for $100+, your name will go in the draw to win a PADI Scuba diving voucher worth $400. You will also receive all other rewards previously listed!
11 Chosen | 989 AvailableEst. delivery is February 2014
A$250 +Your kind donation of $250+ will be rewarded with a printed image of your choice from the Riviera Maya and a hand written card in appreciation of your support, plus all of the previously listed rewards!
0 Chosen | 1000 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2013
A$500 +A donation of $500+ will fly one-and-a-half of us to Mexico City for a water tribunal conference, mid-September 2013. For your help getting us there, we will keep you in the loop with these proceedings! You will also be invited to go dive/snorkelling and have dinner with us (our shout), post production. You will also receive all previously listed rewards!
1 Chosen | 999 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2013
A$1000 +What can we say? Thank you! Now we can return back from the water tribunal conference in Mexico City to the Riviera Maya to continue our filming and interviewing! You will be acknowledged as a major supporter of our production in the credits and receive all previously listed rewards.
1 Chosen | 999 AvailableEst. delivery is April 2014
A$2500 +With your help, we can purchase essential equipment for interviews and filming in the caves, cenotes and the reef, as well as high quality audio gear! For this generous donation, you will become an official sponsor of our production. You will also receive every other reward listed!
0 Chosen | 1000 AvailableEst. delivery is April 2014